Cuomo proposes budget with "no new taxes"
Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed a $137 billion state budget Tuesday afternoon. In a speech in Albany before state legislators, he presented his plan to increase spending by about two percent.
Cuomo's budget includes some small fee increases and limits on deductions for high income earners, but no new taxes. The governor says taxes would hurt the still-struggling economy in New York state.
"No new taxes in this budget again. That is what is working for us. It has symboled a new day in New York. We don't need new taxes. I think if we went with new taxes this year, we would seriously interrupt the progress that we have been making," said the governor.
The bulk of his new proposals focus on upstate jobs programs and tourism, like innovation hot spots, developing three casinos upstate, and promoting New York produced products.
Cuomo's budget provides 4.4 percent more aid to schools and would fund his proposal from the State of the State address for longer school days and school years. But, state aid to municipalities outside New York City would not increase at a time when many counties and smaller local governments are dealing with rising costs and falling tax bases and worry about insolvency.
"Over two years, we will have increased aid to education by 8.6 percent. That is double the rate of inflation. That is four or five times the increase in home values during the same period of time, and it's during a period of time when student enrollment has gone down."
Cuomo said ideally he would like to fund more in education, but reality dictates otherwise.
Cuomo did not mention fracking in his speech.
The legislature will hold hearings on the budget and negotiate it with the governor with a goal of passing a budget before the new fiscal year starts on April 1.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.